Greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) can stay in the atmosphere for any amount of time, ranging from decades to hundreds of thousands of years. No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on Earth and all of it's inhabitants. There are many effects of global warming, from very deadly and drastic to more mild side effects. The following will discuss the 5 deadliest effects of global warming, since there are way too many effects to cover in one article (as many as 200 have been proposed by various scientists and researchers). Whether you live in a thatch hut in Vietnam or in downtown Toronto townhomes, the effects of climate change have global impact and everyone is sure to be impacted by this system.

The spread of disease As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague, malaria, influenza and other deadly diseases with them. Indeed some scientists believe that global warming is the cause of malaria running ramped in some of the world's developing nations. Since disease carrying insects are born in and around standing water, you may want to put that Ontario waterfront cottage for sale on the market, since living close to water can increase your risk of exposure to these diseases. Yet this may be a drastic measure that is not needed. Taking the proper precautions against bug bites in the peak of summer can greatly reduce your risk. This includes things like applying a bug spray that contains Deet, the chemical responsible for repelling the insects, setting up mosquito netting in areas that you frequent around the house, and burning citronella candles or mosquito coils are all great ways to be bug free while enjoying the view of the lake.

Warmer waters and more hurricanes As the temperature of oceans rises, so too will the frequency and strength of hurricanes increase. We saw in this during the hurricane season of 2004 and 2005, when massive hurricane Ivan devastated the island nation of Jamaica, and the now infamous hurricane Katrina caused utter chaos and heartbreaking losses in Louisiana, and New Orleans. If you live in a part of the world that is prone to hurricanes, now is the time to invest in home insurance, a good chain saw and some industrial strength web slings, in case of emergency. The rise in oceanic temperatures also puts the entire ecosystem of the Earth's oceans and waterways at risk, which means that many species are on the brink of extinction, since the microscopic algae can only be formed in specific temperatures. Once these essential organisms disappear, the entire food chain of the ocean is out of whack, and this will be devastating to the sea life and food supply around the world.

Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves Although some areas of Earth will have increased precipitation due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a dangerously rare commodity in Africa and Australia, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global warming will exacerbate the conditions and could lead to conflicts and war. This will affect a great number of people, everyone from farmers to engineers will certainly feel the effects of these pressures on the earth.

Polar ice caps melting The ice caps melting is a very real four-pronged danger. First, it will raise sea levels. There are 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice caps, glaciers, and permanent snow. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet. Second, melting ice caps will throw the global ecosystem out of balance. The ice caps are fresh water, and when they melt they will desalinate the ocean. The desalinization of the gulf current will wreak havoc on ocean currents, which regulate temperatures around the planet. Third, temperature rises and changing landscapes in the Arctic Circle will endanger several species. Only the most adaptable will survive, and even they will struggle to adapt in this accelerated time frame. Natural adaptations through evolution normally take thousands of years, and the simple truth is that these species simply cannot keep up with their rapidly changing habitats. The endangered polar bear has become the poster child for this concern. And finally, fourth, global warming will snowball with the ice caps gone. Ice caps are white, and reflect sunlight, much of which is reflected back into space, further cooling the Earth. If the ice caps melt, the only reflector is the ocean. Darker colors absorb sunlight, further warming the Earth, and making the situation catastrophic. The threat of global warming on the earth is as real as the efficacy of the technology card on the market, and if we can change our lifestyles as quickly as cell phone companies come up with new ideas, we will be in great shape to tackle the challenges that climate change forces us to face.


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The Enviroment

Tuesday, July 16, 2024